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Scarlett’s golden nuggets melt down

Issue No. 1913

JOHN SCARLETT, the spymaster responsible for “sexing up” intelligence about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, has been caught out pushing lies again.

Scarlett, who took over as head of MI6 last week, tried to persuade US weapons inspectors in Iraq to include discredited rumours in their report on WMD.

He contacted the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) in March suggesting they spice up their report with ten “golden nuggets” about Saddam’s arsenal. ISG officials were reportedly “stunned”.

“Let’s face it, he wanted us to include lies,” said one inspector.

“Everything Scarlett wanted in was based on very old evidence which we had painstakingly investigated and shown to be false,” said the inspector. The Hutton inquiry cleared Scarlett of any wrongdoing.

Downing Street officials insisted that Scarlett did not seek to “mislead” weapons inspectors. But they pointedly failed to deny that he had made the suggestions.

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Sat 7 Aug 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1913
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